Label reading 101 - Which Pasta should I buy!? PLUS BONUS Healthy Mac & Cheese Recipe!
Do you know how to read a Nutrition Label?
When looking for the healthiest macaroni to buy for tonight's dinner... It took me a few minutes to look over all the different pasta in order to find the "healthiest" one! But it got me thinking... If it takes ME a few minutes to do this... I'm sure other people just grab the cheapest stuff because reading nutrition labels can be SOOO overwhelming & time-consuming!
Let me break down the nutrition labels for all 8 pasta types they had at Walmart - Including White pasta, Whole Wheat/Grain Pasta, Brown Rice Pasta & Gluten-Free Pasta!
NUTRITION LABEL DEBRIEF:
As you can see there's a LOT to look at here!!!
- Check to make sure that all the Serving Sizes are the same! (If they're different, the nutrition values won't match up so you can't really compare them!)
- Review the Calorie Content - In this case, they're all basically the same, except the Brown Rice Pasta which is a bit higher than all of the others.
- Review Total Fat & Total Carbohydrate Content for LARGE differences! The Protein Plus Pasta is a bit lower in carbs, but the Brown Rice & Gluten-Free are substantially higher in carbs!
- ***Look at the Dietary Fiber Content! The higher the better because it is more filling & will keep you satisfied longer!!! The Whole Wheat/Grain Pastas are highest in fiber!
- Review the Sugars to make sure they're all similar & that 1 isn't a LOT higher than all the others. The Brown Rice & Gluten-Free are a bit lower than the others... But it's not a huge difference.
- ***Look at the Protein Content! The higher the better because it is more filling & will keep you satisfied longer!!! The Protein Plus Pasta is highest & note that the Gluten-Free is very low!
- Review the Sodium. The lower the better as there is salt in EVERYTHING & this causes water retention!
- COST COMPARISON!!! NOW... If you're wondering how to choose the healthiest pasta at the Lowest Price... Look at the amount in the box & the price - Obviously you'll want to pick the cheapest one (with the most in the box)!
RECOMMENDATION: Any of the 3 Whole Wheat/Grain Pastas are great! (Feel free to pick the most cost efficient one!)
So which pasta did I end up buying???
I chose the Protein Plus Pasta because of its high protein content! It's also has the lowest calorie & lowest carb content, but 1g lower fiber content & it has sodium in it! However, since I'm doing a lot of weight-training lately, my body needs that extra protein!
Reading Nutrition Labels doesn't have to be diffiuclt! As long as you follow the formula outlined above, you can quickly & easily find the cheapest & heathiest option available!
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Healthy Mac & Cheese Recipe!!!
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